Most material in the Law Library is arranged by Library of Congress call numbers, which brings together materials by subject. Most law reviews are shelved alphabetically by title in the Compact Stacks (Floor L2). Consult the online catalog for exact location information for particular titles.
Catalog records and many of our legal research guides refer to the collections and locations described below.
L1 is the floor on which users enter the Library. The Circulation Desk and the Reference Office are located on L1. This floor contains:
- Classified Stacks (call numbers A - KNX920)
- Course Reserve
- Good Reads
- Reference Area (including microfiche and microfilm)
- Reference Office
- Special Collections
L2 is the lower level of the Library, accessible by stairs (across from the Circulation Desk) or an elevator (adjacent to the Circulation Desk). Neither of the Gates Hall elevators provide public access to L2.
The following collections are located on L2:
- Classified Stacks (call numbers KNX920 - Z)
- Compact Stacks (Compact Shelve by Title and Compact Classified)
- Court briefs from cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Washington State Supreme Court, and the Washington Courts of Appeal.
- Reporters, including our collection of cancelled regional reporters, are housed on L2 along the far wall and back toward the west side of the building.
When you use the Law Library catalog, you will sometimes see references to other locations, in and out of the Library. For various reasons, these locations are not open to the public and the material shelved in these locations are available only by request. Please ask for assistance at the Circulation Desk (Floor L1).
"Folio" indicates that the book is too tall to shelve with regular-sized books. Folio materials are shelved in a non-public area on L2 within Special Collections. Please as for assistance from the Circulation Desk to use or check out Folio materials.
Special Collections / Condon (The John T. Condon Collection)
John T. Condon, the first Dean of the University of Washington School of Law, donated his private library of legal materials to become the core of the new school’s Law Library. While many his books have been integrated into the Law Library's main collection, some treatises and early Washington primary legal materials have been retained in this special collection.
Special Collections / Nuremberg
Includes over 1000 volumes of mimeographed transcripts and proceedings of the Nuremberg War Crime Trials (1946-49). The Office of the U.S. Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, Document Division, distributed a limited number of sets. (Other copies are housed at the Library of Congress, Harvard University, Columbia University Law Library, among others.) These materials are rare and fragile, so they are kept in a nonpublic area and you need to make special arrangements to use them. The Harvard Law School Library has posted a digital document collection of the Nuremberg Trials.
Special Collections / Oversize
Includes books larger than folios that are not rare but are difficult to handle; in addition, some are fragile..
Special Collections / Rare Books and Special Collections / Rare Folio
As the name indicates, this section of the Law Library houses books that are rare — for example, it includes hundreds of British and American texts published before 1800 and an edition of the Institutes of Justinian published in Venice in 1495 (Institutiones de Tortis, KBD0.C67I57 1495 at Special Collections Rare Folio). ("Folio" indicates that the book is too tall to shelve with regular-sized books and is shelved in a separate area within Special Collections.) Because these books are often fragile and valuable, you need to make special arrangements to use them.
For a description of several rare items, see French Notaries: History, Function, and Resources.
Special Collections / Washington
Includes a variety of Washington State publications, shelved in a nonpublic area for security. Some of them are duplicates of material in the Reference Area or the Classified Stacks. Some of them are rare.